This paper quantifies the effects of Russia’s 1981 expansion in maternity benefits on completed childbearing. The program provided one year of partially paid parental leave and a small cash transfer upon a child’s birth. I exploit the program’s two-stage implementation and find evidence that women had more children as a result of the program. Fertility rates rose immediately by 8.2% over twelve months. The increase in fertility rates not only persisted for the ten-year duration of the program, but it reflected large increases in higher-order births to older women who already had children before the program started.

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Published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, v. 100, issue 4, p. 691-703.

© 2018 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The copyright holder has granted the permission for posting the article here.

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A supplemental appendix is available online at http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/suppl/10.1162/rest_a_00713.

REST_a_00713-esupp.pdf (394 kB)
Supplemental Appendix